Drilling activity in North Dakota has fallen off a cliff, but actual oil production remains resilient even in the face of low oil prices.
According to the most recent report from the Department of Mineral Resources the state averaged 1,176,314 barrels of oil per day in November, a 0.44 percent increase and only a 4.16 percent decrease from the state’s all-time high for daily production set in December of 2014.
The monthly rig count, however, continues to drop. In January of 2016 it was 160. Today the DMR reports 49 rigs operating in the state, down from 64 in December.
Meanwhile, flaring was up slightly in November, but the state is still well ahead of flaring reduction goals.
“The Tioga gas plant was down to 71% of capacity,” the DMR report states by way of explanation. “Even though the expansion of gas gathering from south of Lake Sakakawea was approved, the approval came too late for the 2015 construction season, resulting in a 1 year delay. ”
Of the gas produced in the state, 84 percent was captured. The current flaring threshold set by state regulators is 80 percent, and it gets bumped up to 85 percent by November of this year. Which means that the industry is already nearly at their November a year early.
Here’s the chart showing gas volumes produced, captured, and flared for the last two years:
Here’s the progress on flaring as a percentage of gas produced: